Bordeaux En Primeur 2018: Angélus first to release with ‘sensible move’ back to 2015 price

Château Angélus is the first major Bordeaux estate to kick off this year’s En Primeur campaign with an early release of the 2018 vintage at prices reflecting the current global market.

The Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé ‘A’ estate has released their grand vin at €252 per bottle ex-négociant, the same opening price as the highly-acclaimed 2015 vintage and 8.7% lower than last year’s 2017 offering at €276 per bottle.

Speaking exclusively to Decanter.com, Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal, managing director of Château Angelus, said this year’s prices reflect both the current market for Bordeaux wines around the world as well as the recent performance of Bordeaux’s En Primeur campaigns.

‘It’s only fair to say that the Place de Bordeaux struggled a bit with the last two En Primeur campaigns.

‘Although at Château Angélus we’ve had successful campaigns for the past 20 years, we felt that the current political and economical outlooks were calling for a strong signal and a positive trend.’

The estate followed advice from ‘friends, customers and more generally the market’ deciding ‘to make a sensible move by getting back to [the] 2015 basis’.

‘In terms of pure pricing, it may appear as paradoxical as the vintage is obviously a glorious one at Château Angélus, but one cannot ignore the relative fragility of the global economy which in the present case needed to be compensated by an incentive pricing,’ de Boüard-Rivoal said.

With regard to sterling rates, the wine is being sold by the international trade at £1530 per 6 x 75cl bottles, or £3,060 per 12, down 8.9% on the release price of the 2017 vintage at £3,360 per 12 bottles.

Decanter’s Bordeaux correspondent Jane Anson rated Château Angélus among her most highly scored 2018 wines, awarding it 98 points and revealing that it was the first year that the estate has worked entirely organically as well as using amphorae for ageing.

The 2018 vintage, Anson says has ‘pockets of brilliance but also some inconsistencies’ – ‘a very good vintage – maybe even great – albeit a little atypical for some appellations’.

Château Angélus’ second wine, Carillon d’Angelus, was also released at €78 per bottle in bond.

Today’s releases have limited fears that this year’s campaign might be delayed by the new scheduling for Vinexpo, which will take place one month earlier than usual in May, instead of June, for the first time in the fair’s history.

A small group of estates are also expected to offer their 2018 wines this week, having set their release dates in advance, with Cambon la Pelouse, Beaumont, Tour de Bessan and the Bernard Magrez wines Château Les Grands Chênes and Château Fombrauge Blanc expected, with some Sauternes estates due out after the Easter weekend.